The dolomites is a once in a lifetime travel experience, even though the ideal season to visit in in spring / summer if you want to go off season in autumn here is what you need to know.
Should I travel to the Dolomites in Autumn ?
You will be more off-season :
👍🏼 💡 It will be less populated
👍🏼 💶 You will have a price drop on accommodations / hospitality costs
👎🏼 🌧 the weather will be even less predictable and you can get a blocked view on some of the must see sites you visit.
You are in a mountainous area and the weather changes fast or last… It’s a risk to take. We chose to go anyway and I don’t regret including it in our road trip around Austria. But I have to say if it was the only purpose of our trip it would have been disappointing to go at that season.
What is there to see / do ?
Like any mountain area you have plenty to visit, different natural sites to explore, lots of hiking and lakes to visit. The Dolomites are big and I would count at least 5 days to have the time to enjoy it all. It is the type of destination where you can keep going and still discover new places every time.
Should I stay in one place / Do I need a car ?
The Dolomites are very spread out, you will definitely need to have a car and I would strongly advise a reliable one for mountain roads. Even though some locations will appear close to each other you will drive on mountain roads and the driving time will be higher than expected. For that reason I would advise to take an itinerary / road trip through them and move accommodation every other day to enjoy it better.
This is the iconic Dolomites view with the 3 peaks.
💶 The entrance is a private toll of 30€ cash and card payments are accepted but once you exit you cannot come back you would need to pay again for the entrance.
☁️ We were not lucky and missed the whole view we still hiked there hoping for the sun to chase the clouds. We hiked completely in the clouds the only thing we could see was white. We ended up having a hot chocolate to warm up at the hutt waiting for better weather.
🌞 I would advise to go on a sunny day to avoid disappointment.
🥶 I was very cold up there bring warm / wind clothes,gloves and beanie.
Is right next to Tre Cime di Lavadero, from the parking lot when you arrive you are supposed to go on the opposite direction of the indications of Tre Cime. You supposedly walk 10 mins and reach a fantastic viewpoint over the Cadini Mountain Group.
☁️ We were wrapped up in the clouds and didn't see anything
It became the Instagram gold rush in the Dolomites. I was expecting this one to be super touristic and disappointing and to my surprise it was awesome. We also visited in the Pandemic which made that place far less visited than it normally is.
🚘 Park for 6€ with card or cash.
🚣 Rent a boat on the lake, the staffs are so friendly and nice, you pay 19€ for 30 mins or 29€ for 1h.
⏰ Come early to avoid the crowd
⛅️ The weather changes very fast we had a sunny boat ride and 2 mins later it was pouring rain. So pack rain coats.
❄️ I had in mind a nice walk in between the mountains with autumn colors and I got a snow storm 🤣. This is not a spot you can visit in Autumn the same way you would in spring / summer.
The magical view of the hills with the cabins surrounded by the mountains. It requires a little bit of Logistic but it is fantastic to visit in autumn.
⛔️ To reach this point you need to take the road in direction of Compatsch. The access to the road with a car is only before 9am and after 5pm. Which means you need to arrive before 9am to hike there easily.
🚘 The only free parking once you are up is the P4 for only 2h but the spots are very limited. Otherwise you need to pay 18€ cash only on the other car parks.
🚶♂️ Even though there is a road after the parking spots you cannot drive there it’s a private roads. You need to walk in direction of Adler mountain lodge and you will reach the hills quite easily. It’s a 45 mins walk which is pretty flat.
Another famous landscape of the Dolomites. It is relatively easy to access and the good thing is that you can check the live webcams at the top to see if you have a view or if it's in the clouds before going up.
🚠 You can reach the top with the cable cars for 34€ per person
☁️ When we visited the view was completely blocked so we didn't visit.
This little Village is a must visit. It is perfect to take a stroll and enjoy the view. It is also the starting point of the hike to visit the Geislerham Hutt. You will park your car further up. It takes about 1h hike up to reach it. It's a proper hike so prepare it ahead with snacks and warm clothes.
📸 It is very easy to shoot it’s right next to the parking spot. You walk 50m and you have the elevated platform from where you can take photos. Drones are not allowed anymore. In peak season you will need to pay to park and the spots are limited.
💶 To come closer you need to pay by cash only 4€ per person to walk in their alley to see the church from a closer look. Entrance inside the church is closed you only see the outside of it.
Another iconic place to visit in the Dolomites. It is further south from the rest and we ran out of time to visit but I will definitely go next time !
⚠️ The beautiful color of the lake is due to a very fragile algae. For that reason the close access to the lake is forbidden you cannot get a photo up close to the lake and I would only recommend getting your shot behind the fence for obvious reasons.